No. 33 and beyond: A Day Two draft primer

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No. 33 and beyond: A Day Two draft primer

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

"Can we ever pick a player, Belichick?"

That's an actual, censored text message received Thursday night during the NFL Draft. The Patriots had in fact picked a player -- beanstalk-dweller Nate Solder -- at No. 17 overall, but they also traded out of the 28th spot.

That deal brings added appeal to Day Two with the Patriots receiving No. 56 overall from the Saints to go along with Nos. 33 and 60 -- all second-round picks. So, yes, he will pick a player; probably going to be an active trader, as well.

And, as Bill Belichick told the media, the interest in Day Two's top selection is already hot.

Welcome to the trading post
A first-round run on quarterbacks has not quelled the need among every team interested in a signal-caller. The Bills (34), Bengals (35), Redskins (41, 49), and Raiders (48) might have their eyes on particular passers. Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallett and Ricky Stanzi figure to be second-round targets. The Bills and Bengals can have their pick of the litter, unless Washington or Oakland trades up into New England's spot.

The haul from a deal for the 33rd pick could set up another stacked draft board in 2012; the Patriots currently have two first-round picks next year, acquiring New Orleans' on Day One. The team has until 6 p.m. to value the trade bids against actually drafting a player. And, yes, trading out will spawn more of those text messages. Delightful.

Target practice
No matter how it unfolds at No. 33, the Patriots can add impact players in the second round. Expect the team to somehow move into the coveted 40-50 range. Some names to watch:

Runnings Back:

Ryan Williams - Was flossing an eyebrow ring on stage at the Draft, but that's not something for which he should be judged. He touts good vision and a certain slipperiness, but battled a hamstring injury in 2010.
Kendall Hunter - A smaller guy, but he runs like a firecracker.

Receiver:

Randall Cobb - A do-it-all type of guy who ran for, threw and caught touchdowns at Kentucky. Has a workmanlike attitude which would seemingly fit into the team-first mantra in Foxborough. A special athlete, he's spent time at receiver, unlike 2009 seventh-round pick Julian Edelman.

Torrey Smith - His gait is reminiscent of Randy Moss. His hands? They're decent.

Offensive Line:

There is still a need here because there's no guarantee Logan Mankins will return and Stephen Neal retired. Dan Connolly is penciled in, but some depth would be nice.

John Moffitt - Can play guard or center. Plays with a mean streak, but told Tom E. Curran he needs to improve his pass blocking.

Clint Boling - A guard in the NFL, he would be.
Outside Linebacker:

Allen Bailey - Belichick watched film with Bailey and his teammates at Miami. He's "country strong," but it doesn't always translate to the field. Played linebacker a bit at Miami, but has said he prefers defensive end. Could he play that Willie McGinest-type role? Maybe.

Chris Carter - Played at Fresno State, trained with McGinest, but is relatively little. He puts in the hard work to improve his game and excels at rushing the passer. If the coaching staff wants a player who can corral Mark Sanchez on third down, Carter might be the pick.

Akeem Ayers - Played across UCLA's linebacker corps, but tended to arrive on the tail end of plays. Still, there are some who are smitten over his athleticism.

Defensive Line:

Drake Nevis - He would fit in that Jarvis Green role, playing along the line on third down. Nevis has excellent burst off the snap and can knife into the backfield, but is not considered suitable for the base 3-4.

Defensive Back:

Ras-I Dowling - An injury-plagued season caused his stock to drop. He is a great tackler for a cornerback, and perhaps could be aided by a move to safety in the NFL.

There, that should cover all 32 picks in the second round.

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

CBS interviewed Patriots coach Bill Belichick and 1960 Heisman winner Joe Bellino from Navy as part of its Army-Navy Game coverage Saturday.

Belichick's father, Steve, was an assistant coach at Navy when Bellino played there, and little Bill, then 7, took it all in. So much so, that 57 years later, Belichick can still diagram the 27 F Trap play that his dad used to drew up in the 1959 season for Bellino.

More from NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk here.

 

Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

When trying to figure out what the Patriots will ultimately do with Jimmy Garoppolo, forget about the speculation and instead focus on the little things the team does. 

Like how they are tending to Jacoby Brissett. 

After having thumb surgery on Oct. 7, Brissett was put on IR. But the team used its one "Get off of IR free card" on Brissett and he's been practicing with the team for the past couple of weeks while not taking up a roster spot. 

That alone isn't compelling evidence that he's the backup-in-waiting and Garoppolo's about to be packed up and shipped out, argued my compadre, Senator Phil Perry. The team had no other players on IR that they could use the designation on at the time. Why not use it on Brissett?

Prior to that, though, we've seen Brissett accompanying the team to away games including the cross-country junket to San Francisco. A reason? Since the Patriots played three straight at Gillette at the start of the season when Brissett was the direct backup to Garoppolo, he didn't get a good look at the road operation and the tempo of being the visiting team. How things work on flights, in meetings, at opposing stadiums and on the sidelines is worth getting a promising young players' eyes on. Also, getting his offensive teammates used to having him around is probably an even bigger benefit. It's not unprecedented to have IR players travel but its not conventional practice either. 

With so many quarterback-needy teams around the league, Garoppolo is perhaps the most attractive option out there. By the end of this year, he will have apprenticed three seasons behind the best quarterback of all-time in a sophisticated offense for a program that's as demanding as any in the league. In the 1 1/2 games he was able to play as a starter in place of Tom Brady, he was sensational.

He got hurt and that's not great. But any team making a deal for him that has concerns about his durability can take him for a spin for one season. Garoppolo is on the books for $825K in 2017 and then his contract is up. The team that dealt for him can franchise him if they need another season to think on it. 

I don't think the Patriots are itching to move Garoppolo. They know they are sitting comfortably with a stack of the most valuable commodity in the sport -- good quarterbacks (or at least one great one and two promising ones) - piled in front of them. They can let the game come to them. 

If it does, as former Patriots executive and Bill Belichick consigliere Mike Lombardi thinks it will, the Patriots can rest easy dealing Garoppolo knowing that they already did advance work getting Brissett up to speed.